I’ve been to my fair share of low attendance shows and within that context I like to see bands respond. Do they mail it in or do they treat a crowd of a handful no differently than a packed house? (Fun fact: All time winner is still Black Blondie who played an energetic in-store at Vintage Vinyl to basically just me.) Thankfully, the night’s lineup of Class Actress, MillionYoung and Nèe did their part in rewarding those who made it out to the Old Rock House.
Thanks to our friends over at Speakers in Code (10 to Spin) and IWTAS (interview), I’ve been curious about new local musician Nèe, who just released, The Hands of Thieves, a free EP available on her website. I arrived early enough to hear a good chunk of her sound check, which sounded fantastic within the Old Rock House’s open room. Her set definitely won me over with a lineup of synth pop that is very easy to get into.
Photography Notes: It’s funny when the opening act turns out to have the best lighting all evening.
MillionYoung brought out the chillwave jams for the second slot with a fantastic visual setup to match the music. Animal print covered lights, smoke machines and a colored lighting machine looked fantastic on the Old Rock House stage and high ceilings, helping to coax out a few dancers. Though MillionYoung seems to essentially be the brainchild of South Florida’s Mike Diaz, the other musicians on stage helped to give the songs from Replicants a more lush sound. (Bonus points for anyone who can tell me what the guy tweaking dials at the back was actually controlling. I watched him all night and still have no idea.)
Photography Notes: The lights were down enough to drive me into f1.4-1.8 territory, but the smoke and ancillary lighting adds just enough light and color to squeeze out some shots. Can’t believe I considered selling my f1.4 30mm prime a while back, it’s come in super handy these last few shows.
Class Actress capped off the night with her electro-pop, bringing her 80’s-influenced beats to the room and twisting the time machine dial back to early Madonna shows that my wife would have died to go to. Frontwoman Elizabeth Harper told me later that she was still recovering from SXSW, but you wouldn’t have known it from the way the songstress seductively possessed the stage. I’d imagine her last show here for a London Calling dance party featured much more dancing, but there were still enough heads nodding throughout her set to know that the evening’s performance was still enjoyable nonetheless.
Photography Notes: RED. RED. RED. I tend not to present in B&W, but I wanted to avoid presenting you another all-red set after the Menomena/Maps and Atlases show a few weeks back. In talking to Harper afterwards, she said she’s actually ok with flash but I still have that no-flash principle ingrained in me, for better or worse.